Reason brings the fun to FM Synthesis with the colourful Algoritm FM and plays with 9 operators, filters and completely free routing.
The idea was to make Algoritm FM (apparently not a typo) as accessible and easy-to-use as possible which is no mean feat with FM synthesis. The first thing they did was to remove the operator algorithms and leave the routing completely open and free. Once that freedom was achieved Algoritm FM became quite unique and exciting – or so they say.
What we have are 9 operator slots that can be connected together however you wish. You’d expect these slots to be filled with classic FM oscillators but they can also house wavetable oscillators, filters and shapers. There are 3 LFOs and a couple of “Curves” which are a bit like envelopes only more complex.
While it’s completely capable of coming up with regular FM sounds it’s also free from those assumptions and can hybrid itself into all sorts of tones and possibilities. It has a randomisation engine to get things moving, a unison mode and some reverb and delay effects.
Algoritm FM looks pretty fabulous to me. I like the routing panel and how easy the very visual interface makes everything. While it’s a great place for exploration FM often needs a bit of instruction regardless of how simple the interface is. Reason has provided a decent tutorial video where their man Ryan takes us through what we need to know – good stuff.
Algoritm FM is available now as a Rack Extension for £99 or free as part of the Reason+ subscription.
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